Yesterday I returned from a conference called Shift Happens, which was about technological opportunities within the arts. John Spooner from Unlimited Theatre quoted Tassos Stevens in his presentation saying ‘A show begins when you first hear about it’, declaring that technology can be used to entice, engage and enhance the live experience, but not replace it. Tassos Stevens and Tim Jones, creative producers of Coney followed this presentation, and explained the three stages of an audiences experience of a production: advance (the stage generally inhabited by marketing), gathering (an audience coming together to experience something) and the tail (reviews,conversation and activity that happens afterwards).
I can clearly see those stages in putting on a show, but how could this relate to development? Would it work in describing the development of an idea – advance being the research and first draft, gathering being the point at which the work is first put on its feet, the tail being the rewrites and revisions in response to seeing the piece play out? Maybe we could glean something interesting by applying it to a model of writer development – advance including encouraging and inspiring people to write plays, gathering as the point where writers meet, share ideas and offer peer support, the tail being the stage where writers gain independence and autonomy.
What are your thoughts? Does this three-stage illustration hold any currency for writer development?